Kuwaiti MPs urge Abbas barred from Gulf meeting

Abbas jarred Muslim world who has watched bleeding Gaza during Israeli offensive, saying "if the resistance aims to destroy the people, we don't want it".

Kuwaiti MPs urge Abbas barred from Gulf meeting

Kuwaiti lawmakers urged the government on Tuesday to bar Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from an Arab economic summit taking place in the Gulf state next week in protest at his stance over Israel's offensive in Gaza.

Twenty-one of the 50 members of Kuwait's parliament signed a letter circulated on the sidelines of Tuesday's session.

In the letter, they said Abbas was not welcome in Kuwait due to his "negative attitudes" over the Israeli offensive in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, adding that he had "clear positions to obstruct the operations of a legitimate resistance against the aggression on occupied Arab land."

There was no immediate response from the Kuwaiti government.

Israeli forces tightened their hold on the outskirts of the city of Gaza on Tuesday and Israel's top general said there was more action to come against the Islamist group in the assault.

18-day-old Israeli offensive has killed more than 900 Palestinians, a third children. It has also caused heavy damage in Gaza, targeting scholls, hospitals, mosques and systems.

Thirteen Israelis have been killed by fire from Gaza.

The Israeli offensive has caused widespread outrage among ordinary Arabs and Muslims and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who will attend the Kuwait meeting as part of a Middle East tour, said the "fighting must stop now".

Kuwait has long been scheduled to host the Arab Economic Summit next week, to which all Arab leaders have been invited, but the fighting in Gaza is now expected to dominate the event.

Arab foreign ministers are set to discuss Gaza on the sidelines of the summit on Friday. Kuwait has said that the issue of reconstruction aid for Gaza would be also on the agenda.

Arab leaders have yet to confirm their summit attendance.

Hamas came to power after 2006 elections and subsequently seized control of Gaza.

Abbas said on Saturday the Palestinian Authority wanted peace, adding that resistance was not an end in itself and "if the resistance aims to destroy the people, we don't want it".

The comments jarred with many Arabs, who have been watching the bloody scenes from Gaza on television.

"We call on the government to declare that Abbas is not welcome in Kuwait," the letter said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2009, 15:33
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